In 1943, Max Carver's father - a watchmaker and inventor - decides to move his family to a small town on the coast, to an abandoned house that holds many secrets and stories of its own. Behind the house Max discovers an overgrown garden surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. In the centre is a large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star.
As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: Max’s sister Alicia has disturbing dreams while his other sister, Irina, hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. With his new friend Roland, Max also discovers the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.
As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called the Prince of Mist begins to emerge...
After reading the summary to the Prince of Mist I thought that this has the potential to be an amazing novel. However, it disappointed me a little, probably because I expected too much of it.
Max is a young boy who is moving to a new town on the coast. He moves into an abandoned house full of stories and mystery. The book follows Max, his sister Alicia and their new-found friend Roland as they discover secrets about the place they live and the people they are close to.
There are parts in this book that are downright creepy. A statue of a clown that's facial expressions change every so often? Clowns can be creepy anyway but that oversteps the line. The said parts of the book are really good - they got my heart racing and my hands turning the pages as fast as possible. But to be honest, there were too few of them for me to enjoy the book.
Aside from that, I thought the characters had no real depth to them. They did at first but then they sort of lost it as the story progressed and focused more on the plot. There was no real development in them until the end at which point I pretty much didn't care what happened to them. It's for that reason that I felt like the book was a disappointment. If I don't care what happens to the characters, and something does happen to the characters, then I won't like the whole story - characters are a major deal
Having said that, this book does deserve some credit for how creepy it was at times which is something I love in any book. It just wasn't enough for me.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon: